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Rowland Robinson (search for this): chapter 6
the anti-slavery movement, which was not, like our modern civil service reform, strongest in the more educated classes, but was predominantly a people's movement, based on the simplest human instincts, and far stronger for a time in the factories and shoe-shops than in the pulpits or colleges. The factories were still largely worked by American operatives, and the shoe manufacture was carried on in little shops, where the neighbors met and settled affairs of state, as may be read in Mr. Rowland Robinson's delightful stories called Danvis Folks. Radicalism went with the smell of leather, and was especially active in such towns as Lynn and Abington, the centres of that trade. Even the least educated had recognized it in the form of the Second Advent delusion just then flourishing. All these influences combined to make the Come-Outer element very noticeable,--it being fearless, disinterested, and always self-asserting. It was abundant on Cape Cod, and the Cape Codders were a recogni
Samuel Perkins (search for this): chapter 6
med merely to share in the kindly and rather slipshod methods of a Southern establishment; and my only glimpse of the other side was from overhearing conversation between the overseer and his friends, in which all the domestic relations of the negroes were spoken of precisely as if they had been animals. Returning to Cambridge, I found the whole feeling of the college strongly opposed to the abolition movement, as had also been that among my Brookline friends and kindred. My uncle, Mr. Samuel Perkins, had lived in Hayti during the insurrection, and had written an account of it which he gave me to read, and which was afterwards printed by Charles Perkins in the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He thought, and most men of his class firmly believed, that any step toward emancipation would lead to instant and formidable insurrection. It was in this sincere but deluded belief that such men mobbed Garrison. When I once spoke with admiration of that reformer to Mr.
John Andrew (search for this): chapter 6
emed every moment to be on the point of becoming a star, but never did. He enlisted as a private soldier and died in hospital, where he had been detailed as nurse. The other had been educated at West Point, and had served in the Florida Indian wars; he was strikingly handsome and mercilessly opinionated; he commanded the first regiment of heavy artillery raised in Massachusetts, did much for the defense of Washington in the early days of the Civil War, and resigned his commission when Governor Andrew refused to see justice done — as he thought-to one of his subordinates. His name was William Batcheldor Greene. But all these companionships were wholly secondary to one which was for me most memorable, and brought joy for a few years and sorrow for many. Going through the doors of Divinity Hall I met one day a young man so handsome in his dark beauty that he seemed like a picturesque Oriental; slender, keen-eyed, raven-haired, he arrested the eye and the heart like some fascinati
Jane Andrews (search for this): chapter 6
ommittee and organizing public evening schools, then a great novelty. The place was, and is, a manufacturing town, and I had a large and intelligent class of factory girls, mostly American, who came to my house for reading and study once a week. In this work I enlisted a set of young maidens of unusual ability, several of whom were afterward well known to the world: Harriet Prescott, afterward Mrs. Spofford; Louisa Stone, afterward Mrs. Hopkins (well known for her educational writings); Jane Andrews (author of The seven little sisters, a book which has been translated into Chinese and Japanese); her sister Caroline, afterward Mrs. Rufus Leighton (author of Life at Puget sound, ) and others not their inferiors, though their names were not to be found in print. I have never encountered elsewhere so noteworthy a group of young women, and all that period of work is a delightful reminiscence. My youthful coadjutors had been trained in a remarkably good school, the Putnam Free School, ke
Heinrich Heine (search for this): chapter 6
as so woefully disappointed in the result that he left them after a while, falling back upon the world's people, as more carnal, possibly, but more companionable. Without a tithe of my cousin's eloquence, I was of a cooler temperament, and perhaps kept my feet more firmly on the earth or was more guarded in my experiments. Yet I was gradually drawn into the temperance agitation, including prohibition; the peace movement, for which, I dare say, I pommeled as lustily as Schramm's pupils in Heine's Reisebilder; the social reform debate, which was sustained for some time after the downfall of Brook Farm; and of course the woman's rights movement, for whose first national convention I signed the call in 1850. Of all the movements in which I ever took part, except the antislavery agitation, this last-named seems to me the most important; nor have I ever wavered in the opinion announced by Wendell Phillips, that it is the grandest reform yet launched upon the century, as involving the
Harriet Prescott Spofford (search for this): chapter 6
of factory girls, mostly American, who came to my house for reading and study once a week. In this work I enlisted a set of young maidens of unusual ability, several of whom were afterward well known to the world: Harriet Prescott, afterward Mrs. Spofford; Louisa Stone, afterward Mrs. Hopkins (well known for her educational writings); Jane Andrews (author of The seven little sisters, a book which has been translated into Chinese and Japanese); her sister Caroline, afterward Mrs. Rufus Leightonbest scholars in New England, and then resident in Newburyport. With his aid I established a series of prizes for the best prose and poetry written by the young people of the town; and the first evidence given of the unusual talents of Harriet Prescott Spofford was in a very daring and original essay on Hamlet, written at sixteen, and gaining the first prize. I had also to do with the courses of lectures and concerts, and superintended the annual Floral Processions which were then a pretty fe
Americans (search for this): chapter 6
Boston society, leaving most of the more powerful or wealthy families on the conservative side. What finally determined me in the other direction was the immediate influence of two books, both by women. One of these was Miss Martineau's tract, The Martyr age in America, portraying the work of the Abolitionists with such force and eloquence that it seemed as if no generous youth could be happy in any other company; and the other book was Mrs. Lydia Maria Child's Appeal for that Class of Americans called Africans. This little work, for all its cumbrous title, was so wonderfully clear, compact, and convincing, it covered all its points so well and was so absolutely free from all unfairness or shrill invective, that it joined with Miss Martineau's less modulated strains to make me an Abolitionist. This was, it must be remembered, some years before the publication of Uncle Tom's cabin. I longed to be counted worthy of such companionship; I wrote and printed a rather crude sonnet to
Roman Catholic (search for this): chapter 6
as of actual events stranger than any novels. He was the breaker, so report said, of many hearts, the disappointer of many high hopes,--and this in two continents; he was the most variously gifted and accomplished man I have ever known, acquiring knowledge as by magic,passing easily for a Frenchman in France, an Italian in Italy, a Spaniard in Spanish countries; beginning his career as a radical young Unitarian divine, and ending it as a defender of despotism. He was also for a time a Roman Catholic, but died in the Church of England. The turning-point of Hurlbert's life occurred, for me at least, when I met him once, to my great delight, at Centre Harbor, I being on my way to the White Mountains and he returning thence. We had several hours together, and went out on the lake for a long chat. He told me that he had decided to go to New York and enter the office of A. Oakey Hall, a lawyer against whom there was then, justly or unjustly, some prejudice. I expressed surprise and
secondary to one which was for me most memorable, and brought joy for a few years and sorrow for many. Going through the doors of Divinity Hall I met one day a young man so handsome in his dark beauty that he seemed like a picturesque Oriental; slender, keen-eyed, raven-haired, he arrested the eye and the heart like some fascinating girl. This was William Hurlbert (originally Hurlbut), afterward the hero of successive novels,--Kingsley's Two years ago, Winthrop's Cecil Dreeme, and my own Malbone, --as well as of actual events stranger than any novels. He was the breaker, so report said, of many hearts, the disappointer of many high hopes,--and this in two continents; he was the most variously gifted and accomplished man I have ever known, acquiring knowledge as by magic,passing easily for a Frenchman in France, an Italian in Italy, a Spaniard in Spanish countries; beginning his career as a radical young Unitarian divine, and ending it as a defender of despotism. He was also for a
William Henry Channing (search for this): chapter 6
y of the Sistine Madonna which had been my housemate at Brookline, had, however, been printed in The present, a short-lived magazine edited by my cousin, William Henry Channing; the verses being afterward, to my great delight, reprinted by Professor Longfellow in his Estray. My first prose, also, had appeared in The present, -anw England ordinations — in 1629. To this the society readily assented, at least so far as that there should be no ordaining council, and there was none. William Henry Channing preached one of his impassioned sermons, The gospel of to-day, and all went joyously on, youth at the prow and pleasure at the helm, not foreseeing the stg a disciple of vegetarianism; that faith being then a conspicuous part of the Sisterhood of Reforms, but one against which I had been solemnly warned by William Henry Channing, who had made experiment of it while living as city missionary in New York city. He had gone, it seemed, to a boarding-house of the vegetarian faithful i
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